We recommend this brilliant little camp to travellers seeking a traditional fly-camping experience, well away from anything resembling crowds or commercial safaris! If you love the bush and are looking for an adventure… look no further.
Kutali Camp is owned and run by Tusk & Mane African Safaris, specifically by safari guides Kyle Branch and Luke Evans. Between them, Kyle and Luke have a wealth of experience and a passion for safaris that are all about the wilderness! Kutali is sister property to Chula Island Camp. It’s surrounded by a very different habitat, yet it offers a similar safari experience. Although Kutali is also on an island in the Zambezi river, in the dry season it’s accessible by vehicle so most of the game drives are conducted from this camp. Chula is only accessible by boat, which is why this camp focuses on walks and boat activities. Kyle and Luke recommend staying at least two nights at each camp to make the most of your time in the Lower Zambezi. Kutali Camp is open from mid-May to November.
Access & location:
The camp is accessed via 40 minutes’ road transfer from Jeki airstrip, followed by boat transfer over an easily crossed small channel. It has an exceptional location on Kulefu Island, on the banks of the Zambezi river and under a stunning canopy of winterthorn trees. The island is situated at the heart of the Lower Zambezi National Park.
Accommodation & facilities at Kutali Camp:
Guest accommodation consists of a maximum of four tents. Each offers 3 by 3 metres’ floor space and sufficient height for you to stand. Every tent has drop-down sides, which can be raised during daylight hours to usher in fresh breezes, and lowered for cold nights and when you need a little privacy. As at Chula, the sides are essentially net walls, providing unobstructed 270-degree views of the bush at all times of day and night. We know of no other company that offers this style of accommodation! The team can provide black-out curtains, on request. All tents contain twin beds (joined to make a double bed if need be), reading lights, a couple of comfy camp chairs, two folding shelf systems, and a safe box. Washing facilities comprise a flush toilet, washbasin with mirror over, and classic bucket shower! These facilities are just to the side of your tent. You can request hot water for your shower when required, and a few toiletries are in the bathrooms– soap, shampoo, conditioner, and skin moisturiser.
Kutali Camp’s lounge and dining areas are set up within one open-sided mess tent, usually positioned at the centre of the site. Its furnishings include camp chairs and one table where everyone eats together, tucking in to tasty and satisfying meals. There’s also a well-stocked bar. Guests can dine al fresco too, around a warm and welcoming campfire! The views from camp are some of the very best we know.
Activities at Kutali Camp:
Tusk & Mane specialise in adventurous and highly flexible safaris, led by the sights and sounds of the bush. Broadly, your activities will consist of one or a combination of the following:
Expertly guided game drives- These start out from camp during early morning and late afternoon, with the later drives often continuing into evening or night. Sometimes a walk is involved, so guests have access to the really remote parts of the Lower Zambezi. The very scenic national park boasts plenty of wildlife highlights, not least four of the Big Five – lion, leopard, elephant, and buffalo! You can also look out for smaller predators such as hyena and wild dog, while the herbivore count includes hippo, wildebeest, zebra, and lots of antelopes too.
Walking safaris- Walks take place during early morning and early afternoon. They’re perfectly tailored by guide Kyle, to set the right pace for your party and to fit in breaks when required. For safety reasons, a good level of fitness is recommended, and every walk is lead by an armed park ranger. You’ll have opportunities to get to know the smaller lives of the park, for example, its plants and insects!
Canoeing safaris- Kyle leads this activity too, assisted by a paddling team. You can explore any of the three channels that link with the River Zambezi, as well as the mighty river itself. Among wildlife sightings common on canoe safaris are crocs, hippos, a wealth of waterbirds, and an assortment of land mammals on the banks, quenching their thirst and socialising.
Boating- A boat trip is fantastic for marvelling at the scenery and taking a few photos. If you head out for a late afternoon excursion, you’ll enjoy sundowners as the sun sets over the river – bliss!
Fishing- Enthusiastic fisherfolk can board Kutali’s pontoon boat or aliboat and set off for some catch-and-release fun. The camp provides all the equipment you need, such as rods, reeds, tackles, and lures.
Family activities- Walking and canoeing safaris have a minimum age requirement of 14 years, but kids of all ages are permitted to take part in game drives and boat trips, so they’ll see an impressive range of wildlife. Back at camp, staff pride themselves on coming up with special activities for the youngsters, and the little ones can get stuck into arts-and-crafts, bug hunts, and making bows-and-arrows!